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Apr 06, 2019
Insect Molecular Biology
Hemocyanins constitute a group of copper-containing respiratory proteins, and hexamerins were derived from hexapod hemocyanin but lost the ability to transport oxygen and serve as storage proteins. Although hexamerins have been reported in most insect species, none of them has been identified in Collembola, one of the most primitive hexapod lineages, thereby preventing us from exploring relevant evolutionary scenarios regarding the origin and evolution of hexamerins in hexapods. Here we report on collembolan hexamerins for the first time, and investigated the temporal expression profiles of hexamerin and hemocyanin in the collembolan Folsomia candida. Hemocyanin was expressed over the entire life cycle, with higher expression at embryonic stage than at other stages, while hexamerin expression was restricted to embryos, unlike insect hexamerins, which are generally expressed from larval to adult stages. The phylogenetic analysis and molecular clock estimation suggested that all investigated hexapod hexamerins have a single and ancient origin (~ 423 MYA), coincident with the rise of atmospheric oxygen levels in the Silurian-Devonian period, indicating a physiological link between molecular evolution and Palaeozoic oxygen changes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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